Sunday, 24 November 2013

Cupcakes and a Cold.

Firstly a big ‘HELLO’ to simplesuffolksmallholder over at Frugal in Suffolk. It’s really encouraging that folks are enjoying my little blog enough to want to follow it. 

Sorry for not updating much this week but I’ve not been too well, although I’ve still been busy.

The picture above isn't me, of course, but sums up just what I've been like the past few days. After spending all last week feeling under the weather and as if I was about to go down with a cold, it finally struck this week. I was at my volunteer admin job on Thursday morning and started getting a bit sniffly, then I went on to my computing course in the afternoon and by the time I left there I was starting to sneeze and feel a bit bunged up.

I woke up Friday morning with aches and pains and a sore throat. Despite DH telling me to take it easy I ran around doing lots of little chores which I’m sure helped to keep me from wallowing and feeling sorry for myself. I did a couple of loads of laundry and hung them outside, and then I went shopping at Aldi to get more eggs and icing sugar for DD3’s birthday cakes. After that I nipped into town to W H Smith to exchange a book for DS1 for Xmas that I’d discovered his brother had also bought for him. Luckily they were really good and I simply exchanged it for another one on the 2 for £10 offer.

I also went to the post office to send my little pre-paid package of jewellery bits and bobs to Tesco Gold. Ilona at Life After Money inspired me to have a root around and I found lots of oddments like broken earrings and a couple of rings I never wear. They won’t be worth much but its better to get something for them than have them sitting at the back of a drawer. Earlier last week I’d also sent a few cds and dvds off to Music Magpie that will make me £20 if they all check out okay with the company. I’m hoping to fund DH’s birthday and Xmas pressies with the money.

As well as the running around all morning I made dinner of chicken thighs with a garlic and thyme coating, and home made savoury potato wedges. We had this with salad. The coating mix I used was a freebie sample I got through the post by clicking on a Facebook link.

Yesterday, I finally gave in to the cold and spent most of the day on the sofa reading and doing not very much (we had leftovers of the chicken and salad for dinner served with spicy basmati rice – also 4 sachets for £1 from AF). I thoroughly enjoyed all the Doctor Who 50th anniversary stuff last night. I was 6 when Doc Who started and can remember our family sitting round the TV and watching in black and white. DS1 is a Doc Who fan so it was great to share that with him.

Today I’m feeling a whole lot better, which is a good job because it’s DD3’s 23rd birthday and I’d promised to make her cupcakes with American vanilla frosting, and a coffee and walnut cake. So that’s what I’ve been doing all morning. I think my head was still full of cottonwool, though, when I started baking because the first cake was awful and I had to make another. Any ideas what I can do with two halves of an 8 inch coffee and walnut cake that didn’t rise properly with both layers thicker at one edge than the other. If it had risen better I would have covered up the imperfections with butter icing, but it is quite solid and heavy. Maybe we can have it warmed up with custard as a dessert.

As you can see, the second one came out beautifully so I don’t quite know what the issue was with the first one.

No, I did not eat all of the great chunk that's missing, that was courtesy of the rest of the family although I did have a small slice and it was lovely. 

The cupcakes came out fine too but I haven't eaten any of those. Just didn't fancy one after all those licks of the spoon while making the very sickly-sweet frosting.

No fancy decoration on any of them, just walnut halves and chocolate buttons on the coffee cake with a Happy Birthday and candle, and either white of milk choc buttons on the cupcakes. 

They do look lovely on the poppy cake stand DD2 bought for a birthday or Mothers’ Day (I have a dreadful memory, so not sure which). I also used some of the cupcake mix to make little frosted fairy cakes for the birthday girl to take in to work tomorrow. Did I say she’s a gym instructor and is super fit? She and her work mates still love their cakes.

Her main meal was vege sausage meatballs in a mushroom and onion gravy with spaghetti, which her dad always makes for her. 

I have packets and packets of vege sausage mix I got from Approved Foods a couple of months back at 4 for £1. I snapped it up at the time as I used to get Sosmix at a reduced price when DD2 worked in the wholefood shop in Canterbury, but since she left I’d been looking for another cheap source.

One of the things I did on Friday despite feeling ill was to make DD’s birthday card. 

She loves her make up so I thought this image from a Joanna Sheen cd rom was appropriate. Her pressies were just gift cards, which she’d requested. I got her one for Fenwicks department store in Canterbury and also a £10 Starbucks one as she loves going in for a coffee with friends.

I’m all baked out now, ready for my last coffee of the day and relaxing in front of the TV.  I hope the last of my cold will have gone by the morning because I have my computer course again and the last assessment before I start on the European Computing Driving Licence course proper. Can't wait to realy get stuck in to all the useful stuff.

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